Minister hints of nationwide demolition of structures on waterways

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has hinted of plans to demolish structures that have been built on waterways in a bid to avert perennial floods nationwide.

Answering questions on the Floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Asenso-Boakye said the demolition exercise was part of a nationwide strategy that is embedded in the national flood control programme of the ministry.

“As part of the programme, we are constructing new drains, expanding existing ones and we are collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government Decentralisation and Rural Development to make sure that structures that have been built on water ways are demolished,” Mr. Asenso-Boakye who doubles as the NPP MP for Bantama asserted.

He said he is also working with the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources to also make sure that people do not continue to dump solid waste in drainage channels.

“Covering drain has its own advantages and disadvantages. The ideal situation is half drains that are covered. That is what they call subterranean drains,” the minister stated.

“But Mr. Speaker, with the current situation we have in our country where people continue to dump solid waste into our drainage channels, it will be very difficult for us to continue to have subterranean drainage system,” he explained.

Sprawling settlements built around drainage channels and waterways keep exacerbating the flooding situation in major cities of the country.

He narrated how the underground drainage system at the Kejetia Market in Kumasi got choked by a timber log and caused flooding in the place, pointing out that “it blocked the flow of storm water and the water was forced to come out as overflow and flooded the whole market.”

“It (underground drainage) has its advantages and disadvantages and that is why we are working actively with the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources,” Mr. Asenso-Boakye stressed.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House